Well folks, I must apologize for the long space between updates. You see it has been a rather busy time. Aside from the bike itself, a lot of time has been consumed by the planning and packing and sorting of the odds and ends we collect over time. With the move to Vancouver looming up ahead of us and space being at a premium, this process has become somewhat of an art. That aside, work has also been a little overwhelming. With the summer hitting, the bicycle shop has gone into full gear and there doesn't appear to be any chance of it letting up in the near future. On top of that we just implemented a new point of sale system, and that is... awesome...
Enough of all the crap though, this blog isn't about me. This is about the Norton, and a lot has happened since I last posted.
I started fiddling with the electrical because I have learned that it can be a rather time consuming step. Boy am I glad I did that. With no where to really start as far as loading the bike with wires, I figured it would be a good idea to make sure the main little bits were in good working order. Firstly the control units. I had taken an appraising glance at them when I got the bike but had not really dug into them to make they were functioning to their full potential. One of them had a broken thumb switch, so I knew I had to replace that and the other I soon discovered had a broken circuit board. I may have gone over this a while back, but my memory is often spotty and it is setting the scene for a good story. None the less, I discovered that some serious work needed to be done to these units. I ended up finding one on ebay for a decent price and so acquired it accordingly. When it arrived I was happy to discover that it had the replacement circuit board in it, but the thumb lever was a replica of the one I did not need to replace. Ah well, what can you do?.. I asked John if he had any and it would seem that the dual throw levers are rather hard to come by and he was fresh out. Back to ebay! I started my search with a more refined criteria of what I needed... a left hand control unit, complete or just the lever, it didn't matter, but it had to be that one. I found many many matches for this criteria, but the price was less than encouraging. A new production thumb lever was $70. Nope! A complete unit was around $60, doable, but there are always deals to be found, so I kept looking. ONe fine day I was scanning through google image search and I happened upon a photo of a small collection of units and a bundle of wire. These kinds of things always intrigue me so I followed the link and found it led me to an ebay listing. I don't know what the fellow had labeled the auction, but this listing had never come up in my searches before. It was at $23 with a day to go and included TWO left hand units, complete with brake assembly, as well as a right hand unit and a wiring harness. When it rains it pours! The bidding began. My bid stayed at $25 for a while and with half a day to go it jumped up to $49 when two other fellows threw a bid in. Nothing changed after that for a very long time. 5 minutes before it ended I resolved that I was not going to loose this auction because the wiring harness alone would cost be $175 and I wasn't even looking for one yet. So I put in my max bid for $200, hoping that the other guys would waste time trying smaller max bids until it was too late. There by bid sat at $51... counting down... One minute..... 30 seconds.... No activity.... 5 seconds.... This is where the bid usually starts to rapidly climb.... 1 second.... "congratulations, you won the auction". Wait, really? I just got the haul of a lifetime. shipping was $30 and the deal was done. Holy crap! The story is not done though. When the package arrived, everything looked as it should and the brake levers were in better condition than the ones I had to boot. Yay... wait, that's a mighty big pile of wires for a wiring harness... Oh, there's two. Well fuck!!!!!
Let the electrical begin!
I promptly cleaned up the units, picked through the pieces and assembled the best of the lot. ONe of the wiring harnesses was 100% complete, while the other was about 95% complete. Works for me! I figure there will be faulty plugs here and there and with the upgraded ignition system it would be rather handy having another loom to scavenge bits from.
Off to Motoparts to get loaded up on goodies.
Fast-forward a bit now because a lot of time was spend sussing out the situation and fitting things and snipping things, adding things, and tracing wires to where ever they ended up going.
I also picked up most of the cables for the bike so I could really get things going. My vision was starting to take shape and I didn't want anything to slow me down. A couple other bits and pieces had to be purchased along the way, but I ended up getting the majority of the electrical done. Turn signals work, horn works, high beam, low beam, running lights, brake lights... the whole bit. The only thing I have left to do now is wire up the ignition system and see if I have spark. Cross fingers for me, because this has to happen!
I also got oil lines and hooked all that up. Installed the primary drive system (after discovering that the magneto and stator were both kaput and needed to be replaced.. ouch), the rear fender, chain guard, and a bunch of other odds and ends. It's kind of neat, at this point there is only a couple more things I need to get and the bike will be ready to take that first roar into life.
All is not peaches and cream though. It's my own fault for lacking the foresight, but I did run into a rather large time constraint. My gas tank is fiberglass and so it needs to be coated so if there is ethanol in the gas it won't eat through the fiberglass. I took it into Motoparts to have Rosco do the coating. I would have done it myself but with my time constraints I really don't have the time to research and go through some trial and error to get it right. I know Rosco has the skills, so I entrusted him to get me going properly. Sadly, the coating takes 2 weeks to dry... That puts me right at the end of May before I can actually put gas in the tank. It is a slight blessing in disguise because with this time I can make sure I have done everything right. Double check all the work I did and get the bike properly tuned up for that first ride. I can still start it without the tank, but there will be no riding until it's all together. I will have to run a batch of oil through the engine to clean out any debris that may be left over from the build, as well as run it to settle the valve rockers and do some readjustment. Tune the carbs to it purrs as it should. All that can be done without a tank, and I think that will be the perfect amount of time to make sure I get it right.
Now, because a picture says a thousand words, here is... oh wait. I almost forgot that she has a name. Tessa has affectionately dubbed her Jezebel for reasons I think are rather obvious. I spend more time on that bike than I do anywhere else right now I thought it was funny and thought little of it for a while, but the name kind of stuck to me. I didn't want to call it Jezebel, but Jessie kept crawling into my mind. After a while I just sort of discovered that this motorcycles name was Jessie. So anyway, here are some pictures of Jessie in her current state.
There you have it. By the next time I do a post I should hopefully be including a video of the first start. Remeber guys, corss your fingers! I really need this to work the first time.